With their appearance on the metal stage, the Ukrainian band Elderblood has already intrigued the fans of the genre with the fact that the band was composed of Nokturnal Mortum’s ex-members. At that time more than successful "The Voice Of Steel" album was still much-talked about, and it would be foolish not to look at the newly formed band and some fresh ideas of its founders, who were carrying a lot of experience.
During the time of existence, Elderblood established themselves with no less skillful approach to symphonic black metal genre. Their ongoing debut album "Son Of The Morning" (2013) brought the fans of this style headward, to its classic sound. Its powerful symphonic parts and the striking energy flux didn’t leave metalheads untouched. In this situation, it's no wonder that the upcoming second LP, and moreover conceptual album, became highly anticipated.
On their way to release the CD, the musicians had to spend a lot of time, searching for a label with quite professional approach. In the long run they preferred the French Osmose Productions, which produced Nokturnal Mortum and such known bands as Immortal, Shining, Marduk and Dark Tranquillity. The album "Messiah", which presented Elderblood in a new perspective, came out on May 31 of 2016.
As the phrase goes, right off the bat, the album's cover speaks for itself. "Messiah" appeared in the artwork by the artist S. Mortem, the vocalist of the Russian black metal band Merknet. His painting "Messiah" is not only the key to Elderblood’s LP title, but it fully shows the inner world of the CD on the visual and emotional level. Such a brutal mix of dark colors awaits you in the tracklist of this matured, weighted and really violent release.
From the first song "Thagirion's Sun", which, perhaps, can be called one of the album's strongest tracks, you gonna feel the musicians’ new approach to the genre and the performance manner. Powerful guitar riffs with the endless streams of blast beat, supported by the elements of the martial symphony, will flood in a continuous flow. It will be followed with the growing evil atmosphere and no less furious vocals. Once the band attributed to the influence of Dimmu Borgir's early works, now you can trace the features which, apparently, were inspired by Behemoth. At this moment, the composition reminds one of the Polish band’s claim to fame "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel". Total chaos, devastating wave of heavy guitars and even more ominous symphonic parts open the gloomy path of the adept, who goes through the abyss to the deepest secret, beyond the edge of the Universe.
It’s worth saying that now the album consists of seven songs. Partly, the musicians have gone from long tracks, reducing the running time to 43 minutes. This is definitely a positive trait of "Messiah", as its predecessor with 11 songs exceeded an hour, and with the presence of similar songs, there was a feeling of listening to the same stuff.
- Thagirion’s Sun
- Invocation of Baphomet
- Devil in the Flesh
- In Burning Hands of God
- Adamas Ater
Such an impressive beginning is followed by no less harmonious, full of aggression songs "Invocation Of Baphomet" and "Devil In The Flesh", which start with bouncy riffs. They are picked up with some bold drums, and then the fans of symphonic black metal can enjoy the classics, presented in the same style of early Dimmu Borgir with the fast guitars and symphonic flashes.
"Messiah" has a single style of performance, what can be explained by the album conception. Aside from this style, the band goes only with some minor elements. For example, short acoustic inserts, which distinguish the next song "Leviathan". The track is no less powerful than the first one, however, the flow of brutality is interrupted by couple of melodic acoustic guitar parts.
Less notable, but no less furious tracks "Satana" and "In Burning Hands Of God" with the elements of choral singing will lead to the final and probably the third most powerful composition, despite the fact that it's a kind of the black sheep of the album "Messiah".
The final track "Adamas Ater", which symbolizes the last steps of the adept, sounds like a soundtrack to the retold story. The violent composition starts with the powerful symphonic part, the same growing atmosphere and heavy guitars. They are accompanied by keyboards, single acoustics notes and alternating clean and extreme vocals. As it should be, the final song brings the skillful guitar solo.
The album "Messiah" shows high technical level of the musicians, notes their desire to move on to something new. The record is gloomy, full of the dark episodes with melodic symphonic parts. With all of this Elderblood paved the tangible way through the hell in the footsteps of Lucifer.
Interview with Elderblood: "We have changed, become more angry, our music has become more aggressive"
By Yuri Somov